Welcome to the Hoophouse

by Ken Greene

Our seedlings are at all different stages. Many, like eggplants and peppers, are in the hoop house. Some, like tomatoes, are transplanted under cover, and others, like the Chinese Cabbage, and radishes, are out in the open. Our seedlings are at all different stages. Many, like eggplants and peppers, are in the hoop house. Some, like tomatoes, are transplanted under cover, and others, like the Chinese Cabbage, and radishes, are out in the open.

Up until the last few weeks, the heart of the farm has been protected under the ribs of our hoop house. Doug and Stu have been building wooden trays to hold thousands soil blocks, each with a hopeful seed pressed into its center. Venting, watering, plucking slugs, saving trapped butterflies, watering, and closing up have been near constant tasks. All the heartfelt attention is paying off, we've been transplanting healthy seedlings out into the ever warming soils of the farm. Once firmly established in what will be their permanent home for the season, the seedlings are taking off and starting to express their true personalities. Watching the plants grow from seed is transformational. On our farm the permutations will not stop until each plant has found it's way back to being a seed.

Here are a few photos from our hoop house activities. Now that things are getting in the ground, we'll be doing our best to post regular timely tips so you can follow along with us in your own garden. We invite you to subscribe to our RSS or check in on the blog and post any of your questions, suggestions, and discoveries in the comments field. It's the best way to get our attention during the farming season as we won't have as much time to respond to emails. I'm going to do my best to fill orders and respond to comments on Mondays and Doug will try to do the same on Fridays. Other than that, it's full time farming season. Yes!

To see more photos of the goings on inside the hoophouse, click more...

Don't get the camera (or camera man) wet! Don't get the camera (or camera man) wet!

There's some good early season eating in the hoophouse from our overwintered lettuce, kale, spinach and more. There's some good early season eating in the hoophouse from our overwintered lettuce, kale, spinach and more.

When the tomatoes get to big for thier blocks we pot them up. We bury them just above the cotyledons (first leaves). This lets them create an even stronger root base. When the tomatoes get to big for thier blocks we pot them up. We bury them just above the cotyledons (first leaves). This lets them create an even stronger root base.

We have a healthy flea beetle population on our farm. We keep the eggplant seedlings elevated off the ground and transplant them on the late side to try and avoid letting them get eaten and turned into lace. We have a healthy flea beetle population on our farm. We keep the eggplant seedlings elevated off the ground and transplant them on the late side to try and avoid letting them get eaten and turned into lace.

Too keep track of what's in each soil block tray, Doug kep a note book and has devised his own (dorky but very useful) code system. Too keep track of what's in each soil block tray, Doug keeps a notebook and has devised his own (dorky but very useful) code system.

Here are the codes written on the trays. This way the trays are reusable every year no matter what variety winds up in them. Here are the codes written on the trays. This way the trays are reusable every year no matter what variety winds up in them.

A few of next year's new lettuce varieties (more than) ready to be transplanted. A few of next year's new lettuce varieties (more than) ready to be transplanted.

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